Nestled within a sublime sierra of limestone outcrops, the town of Grazalema makes for an ideal weekend getaway. Its iconic centre and narrow streets hide layers of history that reach back to the Romans, and local specialities include wine, cheese, artisan liquors and bitters. If you haven’t overindulged the night before, head out early morning to scale the magnificent Peñón Grande – a vista of quaint white houses and red-tiled roofs awaits you.
This charming pueblo blanco combines the very best traits of whitewashed Andalucia and offers a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Sinuous stone streets and stairways evoke the town’s Moorish past, and local artists sell traditional craftworks in the picturesque centre. Frigiliana even caters to those with a sweet tooth, as arropia, a delicious candy made from cane sugar and honey, is a regional specialty.
A must-see for history lovers, Culla boasts one of Spain’s grandest castles. Between the 11-13 centuries, the settlement was fought over by Christians and Muslims a handful of times, becoming a base of the Knights Templar in 1303. The ruins of the old castle may be the main attraction, but the municipality is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Levantine cave paintings that date back nearly 9,000 years.
Perched on a hilltop 1,000m above sea level, the castle town of Morella makes a monumental impression. Its 16 towers, six gates and two kilometers of circular wall lend it a formidable and striking character enhanced by its rich traditions of gastronomy and folklore. Head out before sunset for a view of the castle basking in amber light – you won’t be disappointed.
Encircled by mighty medieval walls that reveal a maze of narrow lanes, honey-coloured stone houses and cafe-rimmed plazas, charming Alcudia old town is one of the most visited villages on the island. The eponymous municipality and tourist capital of north Mallorca stretches along a 61 kilometre peninsula, flaunting a coastline of rugged coves and sandy bays that distinguishes it from all others. Don’t miss a walk around spellbinding Pollentia, once the island’s prime Roman settlement to which its stunning amphitheatre still stands testament.
Pollensa is the sepia-toned epitome of the medieval Mallorca you always dreamed of discovering. And that’s without adding its azure sea, verdant pine trees, rustic stone pathways, quirky traditions and picturesque lighthouse. Plaza Mayor is a hub of activity, where you can organise trips to scenic coves, including Cala Carbo and Cala Clara. Not forgetting the region’s crowning glory, the Formentor Peninsula. Over the years, this natural wonder has inspired various poems and works of art – visit it and you’ll discover why.